It’s pretty safe to say that the vast majority of website owners have room for improvement in monetizing their existing web traffic. Whether embracing thorough A/B testing, cultivating direct ad sales relationships, or simply opening up new revenue streams, there are plenty of opportunities for the majority of publishers.
Fortunately, there is a tremendous amount of guidance out there for those willing to look, including plenty of entrepreneurs and webmasters who share their insights and monetization tips for free through their blogs. Below are 50 of the most worthwhile blogs for those looking to ibcrease their online revenue. (By the way, you can sign up for the free MonetizePros newsletter to get monetization tips delivered straight to your inbox. You may also want to take a look at our free guides.)
Getting more out of your display inventory is one of the easiest ways to give a major boost to your bottom line; if you have a lot of traffic that’s not living up to your CPM expectations (or if you don’t know what CPM means), check out these blogs:
Inside AdSense Blog: Brought to you by the team at Google, this blog is a must-read for any webmasters who have struggled to get the most out of Google AdSense. The Inside AdSense Blog includes in depth analysis of different monetization techniques and countless tips on how to maximize your display advertising revenue stream.
Acquisio: The official Acquisio blog, simply put, has a ton of content. While the focus of the blog isn’t specifically on optimal monetization techniques, it does feature a great collection of insights on display advertising. Browse through the collection of posts on this topic and you’ll come away with some great ideas for boosting your site’s performance.
Vertical Response: Vertical Response maintains a marketing blog that provides daily insights on everything from email marketing to SEO to general public relations. This infographic / feature on the display advertising landscape alone makes this blog worth the trip; if you’re struggling to understand how the whole system works, this piece is a must-read.
800 Pound Gorilla: The 800 Pound Gorilla Blog on SalesGravy.com comes from the mind of Bill Guertin, a sales veteran who is full of tips for how to more successfully sell any product (including display advertising). Bill works quite a bit in the sports industry, so his blog is heavy on the sports-related analogies (an added bonus for the sports fans out there).
Heavy Hitter Sales Blog: This blog is run by Steve W. Martin, who’s published a series of books about successful sales strategies. For anyone who is looking to establish direct sales relationships and transition away from ad networks (which, by the way, is both tremendously challenging and rewarding), Steve’s blog is worth visiting regularly.
JenSense: This blog is run by Jennifer Slegg, who is generally acknowledged as one of the leading experts on AdSense and other contextual advertising programs. If your website or blog relies on text and banner ads to pay the bills, you could learn a lot (and make a lot) by spending a few hours going through Jen’s pearls of wisdom.
Affiliate marketing has become tremendously popular in recent years, as publishers have embraced this model as a way to turn targeted traffic into monetized leads. There’s a lot to learn in this field; check out the blogs below for a bit of expertise from some of the industry’s brightest:
MissyWard.com: Described as “an affiliate marketing Swiss Army knife,” MissyWard.com is a great source for news and strategy on all things affiliate marketing. This site has great coverage of affiliate marketing industry events, a worthwhile read / watch for those of you who can’t make it to all the conferences.
Skimlinks Blog: Many webmasters are already familiar with Skimlinks, a popular affiliate marketing partner that has burst onto the scene in the last few years. For anyone who is considering affiliate marketing or looking to increase their revenue from this stream, the official company blog is definitely worth bookmarking. Skimlinks is a very innovative company, and their blog features some creative ideas for maximizing your affiliate marketing earnings.
Affiliate Marketing Blog by Geno Prussakov: This site has a boatload of resources for webmasters monetizing through affiliate marketing relationships. Guru Geno Prussakov also maintains a blog that touches on timely issues in the affiliate management industry. Check out this recent post on how to successfully design affiliate banner ads.
Affiliate Tip: Shawn Collins’s affiliate marketing blog features (among other things) videos of keynote speeches and other sessions from industry events. He’s also offering a free copy of his recent book Extra Money Answer through this site (and you can get info on upcoming conferences for affiliate marketers there as well).
PerformanceIN: This site features work from a number of different contributors, resulting in an extremely deep monetization resource. PerformanceIN also has a number of forums that are a great place to get your custom question answered.
Dukeo.com: This blog is maintained by Stephane Kerwer, a successful affiliate marketer and lead generation veteran who makes a very comfortable living through his online businesses. Through his blog Stephane shares many of the tips that have made him so successful, including strategies for lowering bounce rates, improving email conversions, and tapping into the avalanche of traffic available from social sources such as Pinterest.
AffPlan: In addition to a blog updated with industry news and insights, AffPlan maintains a great resource center for aspiring affiliate marketers. Their lists of top networks, podcasts, and forums are worth a deep dive. They also have some training courses that can be valuable for those willing to invest in their affiliate marketing career.
Finch Sells: This blog focuses on techniques for surviving the world of affiliate marketing, and has frequent in-depth blog posts that address the common struggles many affiliate marketers come across. Check out the Affiliate Toolbox for some great monetization resources.
Marketing Gorilla: This site is run by Greg Hoffman, who operates an affiliate management company and shares his thoughts on the affiliate industry here. If you’re looking for new affiliate opportunities, this site is a great way to stay up to date on what’s happening in the industry.
Tricia.me: This site is run by Trisha Meyer, a professional affiliate marketer who shares candid thoughts on what works and what doesn’t in her profession. Check out her 2012 in review for some good insights on where she’s had success. Tricia also offers consulting services through her site.
Affiliorama Blog: Affiliorama offers affiliate marketing training, software, and support through a number of paid products. The company also maintains a blog (free to read, of course) that features regular posts on the countless ways to make money through affiliate relationships. If you’re in the market of affiliate marketing, do yourself a favor and sign up for the Affiliorama newsletter before you do anything else.
Avangate: This blog focuses on the ins and outs of affiliate marketing, but also includes some great insights into more general monetization techniques. Check out the posts on shopping cart customization and negative keywords; both are great reads that will likely teach you a thing or two.
Affbuzz: For anyone who is actively monetizing via affiliate marketing or considering it as a monetization technique, Affbuzz can be a great resource for collecting the latest news and insights. This site aggregates commentary from a number of different sites, making a great central repository for affiliate marketing strategy.
Not everyone sets out blogging to hit it rich–but it certainly doesn’t hurt to make a bit of cash from your site. If you’re interested in turning your blog into a moneymaker, check out what these folks have to say:
ProBlogger: The team at ProBlogger covers a wide range of topics in their own blog, including quite a bit of content on advertising, AdSense, and generating other income streams. Though the name indicates a focus on blogs, a lot of the insights and ideas can be applied more generally to other sites as well.
Side Income Blogging: This site, published by Larry Deane, is a guide to starting and building a successful online business. Larry writes regularly on a wide range of topics such as using Google Analytics effectively, using email intelligently, and picking out the right blog host.
JohnChow.com: John Chow writes in his blog about making money online–a very general topic that he manages to cover in impressive detail. He’s currently running a series on how to become a “go-to expert” that’s full of tips for aspiring professional bloggers. John has a success story that should motivate just about anyone.
Standout Blogger: Standout Blogger is a resource for those looking to launch and monetize niche blogs, offering tips for building an audience, building a blog sales funnel, and implementing affiliate marketing schemes. This site also gives real life updates on actual niche sites, a level of transparency that translates into very effective advice. Topics include keyword research and content creation, two key areas that are often overlooked but can have a huge impact on revenue.
Online Income Teacher: This site is all about how to make money blogging, including tips for producing quality content and effectively translating your traffic into cash. Blogger Matt Smith and his team put out a ton of content here, so be sure to check back often. Also check out the collection of blogging resources on this site; there are some great free tools in here that can make your blogging life more productive and profitable.
Blog Marketing Academy: This site is all about blogging for business, focusing on ways to convert readers of your original content into paying customers. For anyone struggling to get their business’ blog off the ground, an hour on this site will be time very well spent. The Blog Transformation Challenge–access to a load of content that can help out with improving conversions and monetization–is also worth checking out.
Mastermind Blogger: This site is run by Salman Ahsan, an extremely transparent blogger who shares his successes in making money online and provides tips on how to get the most out of social media as well. This site has its own collection of great resources that are worth a peek for any aspiring blogger.
Daily Blog Tips: This blog is run by Daniel Scocco, who has been in the blogging business since 2005 and shares his experiences online. His blog has a specific monetization section that is full of great ideas. He’s published quite a bit about optimizing AdSense, so this site if worth a bookmark if you make (or hope to make) a meaningful portion of your revenue through display ads.
TentBlogger: This is the blog of John Saddington, which started as a way for the successful internet entrepreneur to share his thoughts and experiences with those trying to earn a living through blogging. Though the purpose of the site has evolved quite a bit–it now focuses more heavily on being an entrepreneur–there’s plenty in the way of monetization tips here.
Think Traffic: This site is designed to help bloggers get more out of their online presence, including more money and more general satisfaction. The team maintains a regularly updated blog that is full of good advice on a wide range of topics. They also offer a great collection of resources that can put you on the path towards bigger paydays from your blogging activities. Check out 5 Steps to Make More Money From Your Website with Less Traffic for a taste of what this blog has to offer.
A lot of the best blogs out there don’t fit nicely into any one categories; below are some solid blogs about general monetization techniques:
KISSmetrics Marketing Blog: KISSmetrics’ blog is about analytics, marketing, and testing…lots of testing. If you have a shopping cart, landing page, or newsletter on your site, this blog is an absolute must-bookmark. It’s full of ideas for testing out all aspects of your web site to find winning combinations, and also features insights on building a winning culture at your company. KISSmetrics also runs regular webinars that can be great learning tools, and their free guides on marketing and infographics are definitely worth a download as well.
Your Customer Creation Equation: Brian Massey is a well known “Conversion Scientist,” and he writes here on all aspects of building an audience and converting them to customers. Brian is one of the Web’s most brilliant minds on these topics; check out his thoughts on conversion basics and SEO to see for yourself. (He also shares links to some of the best reading from around the Web.)
Smart Passive Income Blog: As the name of Pat’s blog suggests, this resource focuses on content for those looking to maximize the passive revenue generated from their website. This site has a number of podcasts, several presentations Pat has given, and a fully transparent monthly income statement from Pat’s businesses.
SarahBundy.com: Sarah Bundy maintains one of the more frequently updated blogs on this list; her site has a ton of regular content on a whole bunch of different content. Some of the recent topics she’s covered include conversion optimization, mobile marketing, and the impact of social media on SEO.
ZacJohnson.com: Zac shares his ideas for more effectively monetizing a passion or idea online in his blog at ZacJohnson.com. He’s also assembled a great Affiliate Marketing Guide Book that covers just about every topic imaginable (though his site covers a lot more than just affiliate marketing).
Mr. Green: This unique site is home to the POF (Plenty of Fish) tool, a pretty slick resource for anyone with a landing page or product to sell. There’s also plenty of free content and a free newsletter that sends along monetization tips to your inbox. The marketing guides are also a great resource worth checking out.
ShoeMoney: This blog is run by Jeremy Schoemaker, who has advisory positions with Google, Facebook, and eBay (among others). In addition to an inspiring personal story, this site is full of both random and extremely relevant thoughts on lead generation, customer conversion, and other aspects of online monetization.
From shopping cart optimization to CPC bidding, there is a lot to know about e-commerce that can have a major impact on your conversion rate and bottom line revenue. Below are some of the best blogs on this topic:
LukePeerFly.com: Check out the landing page tutorials if you’re looking to improve conversion rates on products or services you sell online. This site also has great coverage of a number of other monetization methods, including detailed thoughts on affiliate marketing.
Get Elastic Blog: This blog is one of the best resources out there for e-commerce optimization, featuring a wealth of content that can improve your conversion rates and boost your average ticket price. The Conversion Optimization posts are particularly useful for anyone who has a shopping cart on his site.
Groove Commerce: This site includes an e-commerce blog that features a ton of valuable content for anyone with a shopping cart on his site. This site has a lot more than simple cart optimizations though; the blog includes tips on email marketing, usability design, and much more. Check out the recent post on the psychology of web design; it’ll open your eyes to some opportunities on your site.
Solid Cactus Blog: This site focuses on e-commerce news and trends, but has quite a bit to offer in the way of general monetization strategy as well. A recent post on Bing ads is a great example of the insight offered up here; this one might give you a few ideas if you’ve been frustrated by AdSense in the past.
Lead generation is often overlooked as a potential revenue stream, but it has the potential to be a big moneymaker in certain niches. Below are some blogs on this technique that can help you optimize your lead gen business:
Business 2 Community: Business2Community.com features articles on a range of topics, including sales management, online marketing, and social media. This site is also definitely worth following on Twitter @B2Community. A great read if you want to learn more about the lead gen business.
Marketo Blog: This site is all about best practices in B2B marketing, including lead generation and inbound marketing. Marketo also offers a number of comprehensive guides on topics such as marketing metrics and analytics and a marketing automation buyer’s kit. Marketo also features commentary from several guest bloggers, bringing together experts on a wide range of topics. (Check out their top contributors to get a feel for the caliber of experts writing here.)
Sales Lead Insights: This is the blog of Mac McIntosh, a veteran of B2B marketing, direct marketing and sales who has worked for companies both big and small over the years. Mac has an extremely sharp mind when it comes to lead generation, and his blog is a great resource for those with a site that can be monetized by capturing leads. Mac also has his own list of publications that he finds to be valuable resources for those in this space.
B2B Lead Roundtable Blog: The title of this blog sums it up nicely: this site is powered by a team of bloggers who write about the latest trends and ideas in the B2B lead generation space. For newcomers to the lead generation biz (or those trying to figure out if it’s a good monetization fit for your site), a recently published intro to lead generation provides a good starting point. The team also has a collection of webinars that cover a number of different subjects.